Celebrating 60 years of Capitol Studios by Russ Allsup


Capitol Studios opened its doors to the public in celebration of its 60th anniversary on May 20th and May 21st with a weekend full of events that included tours of their legendary recording studios, a record fair and live performances. The outside of the Capitol Records building looks like a stack of records. Inside the famous building, the audio magic takes place.

Upon entering, there are pictures along the walls of Capitol artists past and present. Some are promotional photos, others are of musicians in the studio during recording sessions that happened there. Once inside the recording studios, the history of the place really starts to sink in. It’s easy to imagine Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Boston and many more making music history between those walls. Walking through the three main studios and control rooms, there are items from recording sessions that most music lovers would love, such as the piano that Nat King Cole played and used on most of his hits, along with microphones that were used by Sinatra and many other iconic musicians. These would probably be in the rock and roll Hall of Fame, but are still being used on current recordings because they sound so good.

Many of the recording studios used in the heyday of rock n' roll are no longer around, either the victim of a wrecking ball (like LA's famed Gold Star studios) or turned into a museum (Motown's studio).  That's not the case with Capitol Studios, which recently held recording sessions with music veterans like Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney, along with newer stars like Sam Smith and Green Day, among others.
One of the main things that set Capitol Studios apart from other recording facilities of the past and present is the 'warm' (not too sterile) sound of the rooms where the recording takes place. Part of the studios were designed by Les Paul himself, and the attention to capturing a great performance is apparent. It's this detail to sound that ensures Capitol Studios will be producing quality recordings for years to come.
Located in the world famous Capitol Records building at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood, Capitol Studios is one of the most historic and legendary recording studios ever. Built in 1956, Capitol Studios has been at the center of some of the biggest and most most historic recordings ever made. The history made in the walls of Capitol Studios isstaggering. Entertainment legends such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and The Beach Boys were among the first artists to give life to its rooms. Continuing through the 1960's to this day artists such as Paul McCartney, Green Day, Muse, Bob Dylan, Oasis, Daft Punk, The Beastie Boys have all recorded there, and the list continues to grow. IMG_5873 With 2016 marking the 60th anniversary of Capitol Studios and the iconic Capitol Records tower announced a series of events and merchandise commemorating this exciting milestone. The Studios opened on February 22nd 1956 and their first client was none other than Frank Sinatra, as he conducted an orchestra playing a series of tone poems inspired by poet Norman Sickel. To tip their hat to the legendary clients and recordings from Capitol Studios they invited the public to join them for a once in a lifetime opportunity to see first hand why their studio has stood the test of time.  On Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd they opened their doors to the public for a one time only 2 day event.  This was a rare chance to see inside the walls of the iconic Studios and hear captivating stories about the endless legendary recording sessions that have taken place there over the past 60 years.   Capitol Studios partnered with Caroline Distribution and WAX Record Fair to host the 2nd annual record fair for vinyl enthusiasts on site. IMG_5874  General Admission tickets included a guided tour of famed Studios A, B and C as well as Capitol Studios photo ops and entry to the WAX Record Fair with food trucks, bars, merchandise and more.  VIP wristbands included an interactive studio experience, hi-def audio, stem and surround sound demos as well as an intimate vinyl cutting demo,studio tours and entry to the WAX Record Fair.